Latino City – a conversation with author Dr. Llana Barber

Join us as Dr. Barber shares her insights and invites us to explore the parallels between Holyoke and Lawrence in the recent past. Her book will be available for purchase and signing at the event (cash or check only).
We will gather in the Holyoke Public Library Community Room at 5:00 for informal discussion and book signing. Dr. Barber’s talk begins at 5:30.

Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945–2000, “explores the transformation of Lawrence into New England’s first Latino-majority city. The arrival of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the late twentieth century brought new life to the struggling city of Lawrence, but settling there meant facing hostility from neighbors, exclusion from local governance, inadequate city services, and limited job prospects. Latinos fought and organized for the right to make a home in the city. Pushed to migrate by political and economic circumstances, poor and working-class Latinos had to reckon with segregation, joblessness, disinvestment, and profound stigma. For many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, there was no “American Dream” awaiting them in Lawrence; instead, Latinos struggled to build lives for themselves in the ruins of industrial America. ” Llana Barber completed her Ph.D. at Boston College and is Assistant Professor of American Studies at SUNY-Old Westbury.

Co-sponsored by the Public Humanities Center at Holyoke Community College, the Puerto Rican Cultural Project, the Friends of the Holyoke Public Library, and the Holyoke History Room. It is also the inaugural event for the Holyoke Public Library’s collecting initiative: Saber es poder: Resources on Puerto Rican and Latinx History, Culture, and Social Movements. Sponsored with help from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice.